How our students are living the coronavirus outbreak
Ana Valverde – A fourth-year Bachelor in Law and International Relations student. Here I’m going to describe my experience of adapting to the circumstances posed by COVID-19 outbreak has been.
IE started offering online classes from the time when the very first cases in Madrid were detected. That was already three weeks ago. By that time, we could decide between going to class on campus, and attending classes online. Just a few days later the Government announced that all universities would be closed. From that moment on, all the classes have been online. I feel so lucky to have been able to transition to online teaching from day one, without any issue. Everything was ready to go, as if IE knew this was going to happen. This is so, because IE has always believed in investing in online education to be able to reach every single student wherever they may be in the world.
I have contacted a few students to compare how they perceive online classes:
“At the beginning it was very difficult to focus, but now I actually pay more attention than I do in normal classes, as they have become the only “appointments” that I have throughout the day.”– Laura Escobar, student of Bachelor in Business Administration and International Relations.
“I think online classes work better than expected. It is true that it represents a challenge to all of us, but with good will and engagement, it is still possible to follow the courses!” –Blanca Úrculo, student of Bachelor in Law and International Relations.
“Classes online are the best-worst alternative to teaching in times of Coronavirus. It’s the best alternative in the sense that it keeps us busy but at the same time, keeping up with math courses online is a challenge…” –María Balasch , student of Bachelor in Business Administration and International Relations.
“Above all, I think that we must be united and patient in front of this situation. We should be proud to have at least the possibility of being able to continue our courses and that this situation does not affect our educational path even if, like all things, this system has its drawbacks”- Jade Ruiz, student of Law and International Relations.
For professors, it was harder at the beginning since some of them aren’t used to technological tools. But thanks to the IT staff they rapidly got the hang of it:
“Online classes have been one of the few advantages of the current situation. It has allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the teaching experience of the future and has demonstrated -once again- that IE is a visionary institution and world leader in the field of education.”- Luis Leis, Professor of Tax Law.
Having classes online is helping me keep motivated and entertained while in quarantine. Group meetings are now virtual, presentations are given online, and assignments are uploaded on campus or sent to the professors by email. Nothing has changed. My life is almost as busy as it used to be two weeks ago: working from home in the mornings and online classes in the afternoon.
Furthermore, this situation is giving me the opportunity to forcibly improve my IT skills. For instance, some professors have asked us to send them the group presentations we would have had in class, via online in the format of a video. In order to fulfill that task I have had to learn how to make a proper video: join all of my classmates’ parts, add the audios, etc. I am sure these skills will be very helpful for my future work life.
At the same time, quarantine is allowing me to spend more time with my family and take back old traditions like watching movies after lunch in the weekends, playing board games, and reading in the leaving room.
I have to say I am benefitting a lot from these times. Instead of complaining we should adapt to the new times and circumstances and take out the positive things that they may bring along. As Albert Einstein once said: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.